Tuesday 29 March 2016 9:23 am

Samsung Pay launches in China following Apple Pay but faces Alibaba's AliPay, Tencent's WeChat Pay and other homegrown rivals

Samsung will let its smartphone users in China pay with just a swipe of their mobile as it launches Samsung Pay in the country in a partnership with China UnionPay.

Samsung follows Apple, which launched in China in February – also with UnionPay – and counted 3m cards set up with Apple Pay within the first two days.

Samsung Pay will work on Samsung's Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5 devices, with support for other models planned down the line.

Nine banks are on board, with six further banks supporting Samsung Pay in the future.

At launch

– China CITIC Bank

– China Construction Bank

– China Everbright Bank

– China Guangfa Bank

– China Minsheng Banking Corp

– China Merchants Bank

– Hua Xia Bank

– Industrial and Commercial Bank China

– Ping An Bank

In future

– Bank of China

– Bank of Beijing

– Bank of Communications

– China Bohai Bank

– Industrial Bank

– Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

Both brands face competition in China from homegrown companies, however, with Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay and TenPay, along with Baidu's mobile wallet already firmly established for several years.

On WeChat alone, more than 8bn payments were made over the Chinese New Year, as the tradition of giving red envelopes, or hongbao, small gifts of money becomes popular on mobile.

The value of mobile payment transactions surpassed £261bn in the third quarter of 2015, according to iResearch and Alipay currently dominates with nearly half of all online payments made through Alibaba's service.